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Concord Stadium EVO LED track luminaire

Issue 55 Jun / Jul 2010

Winner of the UK Lighting Design Awards’ Interior Luminaires category and a Red Dot Award, Concord’s Stadium EVO LED track luminaire gets the once over by David Morgan.

Concord Lighting was, for a while in the 1960s, one of the most innovative lighting companies in Europe as an early licensee of lighting track from Lightolier in the USA, and in this capacity was the first company to introduce it in the UK. The company also collaborated closely with one of the leading designers of the day, Robert Heritage, to design a number of classic display luminaires, many of these are still in use around the world after 40 years.

But as they say, what is actual is actual only for one time. And only for one place. The company has since passed through the hands of various corporate owners and was finally absorbed into the Indian Havells Sylvania conglomerate with over 8,000 employees and 15 factories worldwide.

Along the way much of the shine has come off Concord’s reputation for innovation and style. This is reflected in its current product line up which includes a diverse selection of home-grown and factored products from European manufacturers. Neither does Concord capitalise on its past collections in the way that some other lighting companies have managed to do and the Robert Heritage classics are no longer available.

Despite this, there are positive signs that Concord is seeking to restore its standing as an innovative producer of track mounted luminaires.

The Stadium range of LED track mounted display luminaires is one of the latest product introductions from Concord and won the Interior Luminaire award in this year’s UK Lighting Design Awards. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this product is much more attractive in reality than I thought. I had imagined it to be larger and less refined. The concept and design was created in house by Tony Lawrence, a Concord veteran with 41 years service and one of the survivors of all the changes of company ownership over the years. Engineering and technical design was undertaken in house by other Concord veterans Shane Alce and Ian Craig.

The product configuration is certainly not novel as there are many other LED projectors that incorporate an array of LEDs in a rectilinear housing. However, the performance is much more powerful than I had expected. The lighting punch from the 16 x 1.5 watt Seoul Semiconductor LEDs is impressive. The narrow 10° spot has a very powerful throw. To achieve this high light output from such a small footprint comes with some issues. The housing seems to get remarkably warm even in a normal ambient temperature. Apparently the driver circuit has a built in thermal monitoring feature so if the temperature of the luminaire goes over a certain level a dimming feature kicks in to reduce the current to a 50% level. This should prevent the LEDs from getting close to their maximum operating temperature with the consequential long term effects on colour stability and light output.

The light quality from the 16 Seoul Semiconductor Z-Power P4 LEDs is as impressive as the quantity of light. The Ra of 93 gives a very tungsten like effect in the 3000K warm white version and the 4000K neutral white is clean and neutral.

The advantages of LEDs of no UV or IR heat in the beam will make these ideal for gallery and retail display lighting.

The Stadium comes in two versions – the EVO and the PRO. The EVO incorporates a custom driver which is integrated into the body housing with the LEDs on the same pcb. This one box design solution reduces ceiling clutter on the track and gives the product its neat appearance.

However by integrating the driver into the body there are some downsides. The EVO driver is not dimmable and is slightly less efficient than the PRO version by around 10%. The PRO version is a two box design with a separate track mounted gear enclosure housing a dimmable driver. Unfortunately this dimmer is only controllable on the luminaire itself via a dimming knob. Since DALI track is available now from a number of suppliers it would have been preferable to have a DALI or DMX controlled dimmer so that each luminaire could be controlled via a lighting control system.

The PRO version also incorporates a lock on the head adjustment in the vertical plane and horizontal planes.

The lens assembly is one of the nicest design features of the Stadium as some light is allowed to leak into the frosted polycarbonate front moulding so that the whole front of the luminaire glows slightly. This seems to reduce the amount of glare and make it appear less ‘spotty’ than other multi LED luminaires of this type.

Beam angles of 10° and 25° are available in three white colour temperatures.

Accessories include three distributions of spread lens, an anti glare louvre and a colour gel holder.

Although the design brief for the Stadium was only fixed a few years ago LED technology has moved ahead rapidly in this period and new high output arrays are now available which give a more traditional point source for display lighting thus making the LED configuration of the Stadium somewhat outdated. However the overall neat design of the Stadium creates a pleasing product from an array of single LED emitters and I am sure it will be very successful.


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